S: Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary
BC: Thank you
FC: Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary | My Senior Project By Alexandra Ricke-Vergara
1: "Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
2: WELCOME | a year in | 4560 N US Highway 1 Melbourne, FL 32935
3: Number of animals residing there at certain times. One day we even had up to 70 baby squirrels!
4: The Florida Wildlife Hospital houses some permanent residents as well. Bella on the left is an American Kestrel and on the right is Gonzo the Screech Owl. Bella cannot return to the wild because when the FWH received her, she was not taught how to hunt in the wild, so she is not trained to hunt to feed herself. Gonzo has a problem with his wing so he could not survive in the wild. Gonzo actually is very beneficial to the FWH because he cares for baby owls brought to the center. The Hospital also has four permanent resident owls that reside outside. FWH's goal is to release all the animals they receive back into the wild, but sometimes that is not always possible.
5: Adorable Bella and Gonzo!!!
6: How to feed a squirrel
7: First: each squirrel requires a different amount of food at different times and a tag on their cage says what is needed and how many squirrels are in each cage. | Second: The squirrel food is a type of formula like their mother's milk and is always refrigerated. The amount needed is poured into a container and then microwaved
8: Third: Catching the quick little guys.. Usually the squirrels aren't that difficult to catch because they know they're getting food, but on occasion they can be really nasty. I got bit once and it wasn't pleasant. All the squirrels in one cage get fed at the same time and temporarily placed into a little holding cage. After each squirrel is fed, they are placed back in the bigger cage so it is easier to keep track of them.
9: Fourth: The necessary amount is then put into a syringe so it's easier for the squirrel to eat. Care is taken to not squeeze too fast because then it goes down the wrong pipe and they choke, and not too slow because they tend to get angry or bored.
10: Baby squirrel that doesn't even have his eyes open and an older squirrel that eats solids as well.
12: Lastly: The food is then wiped off their bodies, because it tends to get messy, and placed back into their cage.
13: Guideline used to estimate the age of a squirrel
14: There's plenty to do besides feed squirrels. | Walk Tortoises!! | Each tortoise needs to be walked for twenty minutes at least once a day to get the necessary sunlight.
15: Cut up food! | Clean cages!
16: Wipe off countertops! | Give water and food to tortoises!
17: Stare at cute babies in the incubators! | Wash and dry laundry!
18: Fold laundry! | Mop and sweep the floors!
19: There is even a list of what to do when not busy.
20: Photos outside
21: I enjoyed my senior project tremendously. It was a feeling of accomplishment to help so many animals in need. Just the thought that without the Florida Wildlife Hospital and the volunteers that help on a regular basis, all those animals will go without care and probably will die. The FWH got an estimate of 4,500 patients in 2011 alone and the numbers continue to rise every year! The Hospital works together for such a worthy cause and I was proud to volunteer there and help one animal at a time.